For this award clubs were asked to nominate one player from their first-team squad that they felt had played the most significant part in supporting the Club's community programme during the 2011 calendar year. The judges were looking to recognise the player whose involvement has gone above and beyond that which would normally be expected of a professional player. This could be either across a broad range of community programmes or in support of one particular activity.
Noel Hunt - Reading
Noel's work for the Community Trust has focussed on his role as a Prince's Trust Ambassador. Through this he supports an educational and a football programme for young people not in education, employment or training, and makes time to talk and engage with the participants. He is always available for various player visits to support the rest of the Trust's work, and has even judged a hair and beauty fashion show for them!
Tamika Mkandawire - Millwall
Since joining Millwall in 2010, Tamika has made a huge impact at the club and within the local community, particularly as a player ambassador for the Giving Youth Violence the Red Card scheme, involving himself in workshops and informing local youths on the dangers of carrying knives. Many of Tamika's other regular player appearances see him attend schools and social inclusion projects, offering advice and his position as a role model to help better the community.
Joel Ward - Portsmouth
Joel grew up in the Portsmouth area and saw first hand the impact players and the club can have on the local community, something that is reflected in the amount of work he now does for the Foundation. He regularly works with ex-Pompey player Linvoy Primus' 'Faith and Football' charity, acting as mentor to a young child on their reading scheme. Joel has time for everyone and can be relied on to attend absolutely any Foundation event.
Award Sponsor: Professional Footballers' Association
The Professional Footballers' Association are proud of the contributions made by our current members in support of community and charitable initiatives. It is for this reason that we are pleased to sponsor once again the Player in the Community Award to recognise their achievement off the pitch where a real difference and impact can be made in the heart of communities. As a recognition of the partnership between the PFA and The Football League, which is strengthened through combined initiatives in the fields of contracts, education and community work, we would also like to raise awareness of this award to reflect the unique social responsibility programme in operation through football at all 72 clubs.